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Federal lawsuit alleges Palo Alto police engaged in pattern of abuse

Attorney for man arrested outside Happy Donuts claims city failed to properly investigate officers' misconduct

The attorney for Julio Arevalo, who was arrested in front of Happy Donuts on July 10, 2019, filed a federal lawsuit against the city on June 24. Screenshot obtained via Palo Alto Police Department video.

As Palo Alto explores reforms to its Police Department, city leaders are also responding to fresh accusations that two recent high-profile arrests in the Barron Park neighborhood are part of the agency's broader trend of deception and discrimination.

Over the past month, as demonstrators across the nation rallied to oppose police brutality and promote social justice, the City Council has heard dozens of comments from residents at meetings calling for the city to discipline officers involved in the 2018 arrest of Gustavo Alvarez at his home in Buena Vista Mobile Home Park and the 2019 arrest of Julio Arevalo in front of Happy Donuts.

The city has already paid $572,500 to settle the Alvarez suit, which also has sparked an FBI investigation, according to NBC Bay Area. Last Wednesday, Arevalo's attorney Cody Salfen, who also had represented Alvarez, filed a federal lawsuit against the city over the July 10, 2019, arrest of Arevalo. The suit alleges a "decades-long pattern and practice of tolerating, promoting and encouraging PAPD officers' thuggery, violence, dishonesty, barbarism and maiming of individuals like the plaintiff in the present matter."

Filed by Salfen and Samuel J. Gordon in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, the suit pertains to an arrest of Arevalo by Agent Thomas DeStefano, who claimed he had seen Arevalo engage in what appeared to be a hand-to-hand drug transaction. The arrest was captured by the doughnut shop's surveillance camera and by DeStefano's body-worn camera, footage that the department released earlier this month. Neither footage shows the drug transaction that DeStefano references. It does show DeStefano asking Arevalo to stop and Arevalo attempting to walk away. DeStefano then walks up to Arevalo and attempts to detain him while pressing him against a railing in front of the doughnut shop. When Arevalo protests, DeStefano flips him to the ground.

After being taken to the police station for processing, Arevalo was brought to Stanford Hospital and treated for a fractured orbital bone that he sustained during the arrest.

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Rather than focusing exclusively on the Arevalo incident, the 199-page complaint details a series of incidents, some stretching back to nearly two decades, and policies that it alleges have contributed to the culture of discrimination. This includes the violent 2003 arrest of Albert Hopkins in 2003, a Black resident who was living in his van and who was beaten and pepper-strayed; the abrupt resignation of Police Chief Lynne Johnson in 2008 after she responded to a spate of robberies by directing officers to question African American people who wear do-rags; the violent arrest of Tyler Harney in 2013 after a traffic stop, an incident during which Harney suffered an epileptic seizure and that led to the city paying a $250,000 settlement; the allegations that Capt. Zach Perron used a racial slur in 2014 in a comment made to a Black officer who has since left the department; the Alvarez arrest in February 2018; and the Council's decision last December to revise the scope of its independent police auditor to explicitly exclude internal personnel matters.

That decision to change the scope of the audits, the suit claims, made it "significantly easier" for the city to hide misconduct by officers.

Police Chief Robert Jonsen has consistently said that he is committed to holding his officers accountable, a message he reiterated at a June 25 town hall on race and policing sponsored by Palo Alto Online. The lawsuit, however, paints a picture of a close-knit department in which supervisors review — and generally excuse — misconduct by their colleagues, who often happen to be their friends. The suit notes that police Lt. Ben Becchetti, who reviewed DeStefano's use of force and deemed it "justified," happened to have been a groomsman at DeStefano's wedding.

Becchetti found that there were some "discrepancies" between DeStefano's reports and the videos reviewed, according to the suit. In doing so, the suit claims, Becchetti had "minimized and failed to properly label" DeStefano's "falsification" — namely, his assertion that he had witnessed a "hand-to-hand" drug transaction before he approached Arevalo.

"Comparing this to the surveillance footage, it is abundantly clear that Julio never touched hands with any Hispanic male (or anyone else)," the suit states. "No such 'hand-to-hand' transaction or anything that could be constructed as such ever occurred. The surveillance footage establishes this information Agent DeStefano put in the police report was fabricated (i.e. Agent DeStefano lied in his police report)."

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The suit calls Becchetti's review an example of the department's "flawed and conflicted system of investigating allegations of misconduct." It also includes a gallery of photos of Palo Alto police officers, some of whom are in uniform and appear to be on duty, attending the retirement party of Sgt. Wayne Benitez, the supervising officer during Alvarez's arrest who was seen on surveillance footage slamming Alvarez into the hood of a car and apparently mocking him for being gay.

In an introduction to the video of the Arevalo arrest, police Lt. James Reifschneider said the officer had recognized a man who he knew was on active probation. The officer, he said, saw the man conduct what he "believed could have been a hand-to-hand drug transaction."

This video captured on a police body-worn camera shows the 2019 arrest of Julio Arevalo outside of Happy Donuts in Palo Alto. Courtesy Palo Alto Police Department.

The suit strongly disputes both of these assertions. Pointing to dispatch audio, Salfen noted that DeStefano doesn't use Arevalo's name at any point during the arrest and only learned his identity "a significant amount of time after he had already detained and brutally attacked Julio."

The suit concludes that the officer "apparently attempted to justify in his report his unlawful and violent detention, arrest and violence toward Julio by falsely claiming that he was aware of certain information before the detention/arrest/attack."

"The trickle-down effects of this pattern and practice within this rogue police agency and municipality are beyond dangerous," the suit states. People's lives are not only at risk, people are being severely and critically injured for no reason, all under the false guise of public safety. And not just people in general, very specific types of people. Julio, a Latino male, was beaten and knocked unconscious, despite the fact that he didn't do anything illegal, he didn't attack any police officers, and he didn't have anything illegal in his possession."

The lawsuit comes at a time when the city is preparing for a wholesale review of department policies and exploration of alternative service models, including one that combines fire, police and medical services into a single Department of Public Safety. Last week, Mayor Adrian Fine announced the creation of four ad hoc committees to focus on police reforms and diversity initiatives. A committee consisting of Vice Mayor Tom DuBois and council members Alison Cormack and Lydia Kou will be charged with reviewing police operations and hiring practices, while council members Liz Kniss and Greg Tanaka will explore alternative service models.

There also will be a committee focusing on police transparency and accountability (DuBois and Councilman Eric Filseth); and another one focused on citywide diversity (Fine, Cormack and Kniss). Each committee will be making a monthly report to the public.

The council has also passed a resolution in support of the Black Lives Matter movement and has commissioned artists to paint "Black Lives Matter" on a street near City Hall.

Some residents have called for the city to move faster and to be more aggressive in reforming the Police Department, either by "defunding" and shifting some of its funding toward social services, health programs and affordable housing; or by repealing policies that make it harder to hold officers accountable for misconducts. At the Thursday panel discussion, resident Winter Dellenbach proposed removing a policy that allows officers who are subject to citizen complaints or internal investigations to have these investigations expunged from their records. The idea was immediately endorsed by former East Palo Alto Police Chief Ron Davis, who served as executive director of President Barack Obama's President's Task Force on 21st Century Policing.

Jonsen called the Palo Alto department "very progressive" and said he is preparing to enhance its data collection to comply with Assembly Bill 953, a 2015 law that requires all police departments to collect and publicize data on all police stops.

"We also feel very, very serious about looking at our data internally, especially over the past five years, in regards to our use of force," Jonsen said at the town hall.

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Federal lawsuit alleges Palo Alto police engaged in pattern of abuse

Attorney for man arrested outside Happy Donuts claims city failed to properly investigate officers' misconduct

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Mon, Jun 29, 2020, 4:48 pm

As Palo Alto explores reforms to its Police Department, city leaders are also responding to fresh accusations that two recent high-profile arrests in the Barron Park neighborhood are part of the agency's broader trend of deception and discrimination.

Over the past month, as demonstrators across the nation rallied to oppose police brutality and promote social justice, the City Council has heard dozens of comments from residents at meetings calling for the city to discipline officers involved in the 2018 arrest of Gustavo Alvarez at his home in Buena Vista Mobile Home Park and the 2019 arrest of Julio Arevalo in front of Happy Donuts.

The city has already paid $572,500 to settle the Alvarez suit, which also has sparked an FBI investigation, according to NBC Bay Area. Last Wednesday, Arevalo's attorney Cody Salfen, who also had represented Alvarez, filed a federal lawsuit against the city over the July 10, 2019, arrest of Arevalo. The suit alleges a "decades-long pattern and practice of tolerating, promoting and encouraging PAPD officers' thuggery, violence, dishonesty, barbarism and maiming of individuals like the plaintiff in the present matter."

Filed by Salfen and Samuel J. Gordon in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, the suit pertains to an arrest of Arevalo by Agent Thomas DeStefano, who claimed he had seen Arevalo engage in what appeared to be a hand-to-hand drug transaction. The arrest was captured by the doughnut shop's surveillance camera and by DeStefano's body-worn camera, footage that the department released earlier this month. Neither footage shows the drug transaction that DeStefano references. It does show DeStefano asking Arevalo to stop and Arevalo attempting to walk away. DeStefano then walks up to Arevalo and attempts to detain him while pressing him against a railing in front of the doughnut shop. When Arevalo protests, DeStefano flips him to the ground.

After being taken to the police station for processing, Arevalo was brought to Stanford Hospital and treated for a fractured orbital bone that he sustained during the arrest.

Rather than focusing exclusively on the Arevalo incident, the 199-page complaint details a series of incidents, some stretching back to nearly two decades, and policies that it alleges have contributed to the culture of discrimination. This includes the violent 2003 arrest of Albert Hopkins in 2003, a Black resident who was living in his van and who was beaten and pepper-strayed; the abrupt resignation of Police Chief Lynne Johnson in 2008 after she responded to a spate of robberies by directing officers to question African American people who wear do-rags; the violent arrest of Tyler Harney in 2013 after a traffic stop, an incident during which Harney suffered an epileptic seizure and that led to the city paying a $250,000 settlement; the allegations that Capt. Zach Perron used a racial slur in 2014 in a comment made to a Black officer who has since left the department; the Alvarez arrest in February 2018; and the Council's decision last December to revise the scope of its independent police auditor to explicitly exclude internal personnel matters.

That decision to change the scope of the audits, the suit claims, made it "significantly easier" for the city to hide misconduct by officers.

Police Chief Robert Jonsen has consistently said that he is committed to holding his officers accountable, a message he reiterated at a June 25 town hall on race and policing sponsored by Palo Alto Online. The lawsuit, however, paints a picture of a close-knit department in which supervisors review — and generally excuse — misconduct by their colleagues, who often happen to be their friends. The suit notes that police Lt. Ben Becchetti, who reviewed DeStefano's use of force and deemed it "justified," happened to have been a groomsman at DeStefano's wedding.

Becchetti found that there were some "discrepancies" between DeStefano's reports and the videos reviewed, according to the suit. In doing so, the suit claims, Becchetti had "minimized and failed to properly label" DeStefano's "falsification" — namely, his assertion that he had witnessed a "hand-to-hand" drug transaction before he approached Arevalo.

"Comparing this to the surveillance footage, it is abundantly clear that Julio never touched hands with any Hispanic male (or anyone else)," the suit states. "No such 'hand-to-hand' transaction or anything that could be constructed as such ever occurred. The surveillance footage establishes this information Agent DeStefano put in the police report was fabricated (i.e. Agent DeStefano lied in his police report)."

The suit calls Becchetti's review an example of the department's "flawed and conflicted system of investigating allegations of misconduct." It also includes a gallery of photos of Palo Alto police officers, some of whom are in uniform and appear to be on duty, attending the retirement party of Sgt. Wayne Benitez, the supervising officer during Alvarez's arrest who was seen on surveillance footage slamming Alvarez into the hood of a car and apparently mocking him for being gay.

In an introduction to the video of the Arevalo arrest, police Lt. James Reifschneider said the officer had recognized a man who he knew was on active probation. The officer, he said, saw the man conduct what he "believed could have been a hand-to-hand drug transaction."

The suit strongly disputes both of these assertions. Pointing to dispatch audio, Salfen noted that DeStefano doesn't use Arevalo's name at any point during the arrest and only learned his identity "a significant amount of time after he had already detained and brutally attacked Julio."

The suit concludes that the officer "apparently attempted to justify in his report his unlawful and violent detention, arrest and violence toward Julio by falsely claiming that he was aware of certain information before the detention/arrest/attack."

"The trickle-down effects of this pattern and practice within this rogue police agency and municipality are beyond dangerous," the suit states. People's lives are not only at risk, people are being severely and critically injured for no reason, all under the false guise of public safety. And not just people in general, very specific types of people. Julio, a Latino male, was beaten and knocked unconscious, despite the fact that he didn't do anything illegal, he didn't attack any police officers, and he didn't have anything illegal in his possession."

The lawsuit comes at a time when the city is preparing for a wholesale review of department policies and exploration of alternative service models, including one that combines fire, police and medical services into a single Department of Public Safety. Last week, Mayor Adrian Fine announced the creation of four ad hoc committees to focus on police reforms and diversity initiatives. A committee consisting of Vice Mayor Tom DuBois and council members Alison Cormack and Lydia Kou will be charged with reviewing police operations and hiring practices, while council members Liz Kniss and Greg Tanaka will explore alternative service models.

There also will be a committee focusing on police transparency and accountability (DuBois and Councilman Eric Filseth); and another one focused on citywide diversity (Fine, Cormack and Kniss). Each committee will be making a monthly report to the public.

The council has also passed a resolution in support of the Black Lives Matter movement and has commissioned artists to paint "Black Lives Matter" on a street near City Hall.

Some residents have called for the city to move faster and to be more aggressive in reforming the Police Department, either by "defunding" and shifting some of its funding toward social services, health programs and affordable housing; or by repealing policies that make it harder to hold officers accountable for misconducts. At the Thursday panel discussion, resident Winter Dellenbach proposed removing a policy that allows officers who are subject to citizen complaints or internal investigations to have these investigations expunged from their records. The idea was immediately endorsed by former East Palo Alto Police Chief Ron Davis, who served as executive director of President Barack Obama's President's Task Force on 21st Century Policing.

Jonsen called the Palo Alto department "very progressive" and said he is preparing to enhance its data collection to comply with Assembly Bill 953, a 2015 law that requires all police departments to collect and publicize data on all police stops.

"We also feel very, very serious about looking at our data internally, especially over the past five years, in regards to our use of force," Jonsen said at the town hall.

Comments

Accountability
Downtown North
on Jun 29, 2020 at 5:29 pm
Accountability, Downtown North
on Jun 29, 2020 at 5:29 pm
6 people like this

See also Federal lawsuit vs Los Altos alleging RICO, Conspiracy, Obstruction of Justice. Defendants include City Manager Chris Jordan, (now former) City Attorney Chris Diaz and his partners and the law firm, named City employees, and a homeowner. All this in addition to a lawsuit also in Federal Court vs City of Los Altos, City employees, etc.

The PD, from Chief Andy Galea and down to individual officers, were hand in glove in the Conspiracy and other violations, and worked as partners with the other defendants. The lawsuits (and the associated filings in the Court) cite evidence showing this was a systemic, persistent pattern in Los Altos targeting minorities.


Accountability
Downtown North
on Jun 29, 2020 at 5:41 pm
Accountability, Downtown North
on Jun 29, 2020 at 5:41 pm
9 people like this

" supervisors review — and generally excuse — misconduct by their colleagues..."
"information Agent DeStefano put in the police report was fabricated (i.e. ...lied in his police report)"
"department's "flawed and conflicted system of investigating allegations of misconduct"
"pattern and practice within this rogue police agency and municipality..."

The Federal lawsuits vs Los Altos and the evidence confirm these allegations extend beyond Palo Alto and are equally applicable and relevant for Los Altos (municipality and the PD). Fabricated police reports, withholding of key evidence from the DA's Office to whitewash those the PD (and City) favor, harassment and intimidation of those the PD (and City) target, and so on.


The prob


Brian
Professorville
on Jun 30, 2020 at 12:36 am
Brian, Professorville
on Jun 30, 2020 at 12:36 am
12 people like this

All you need to know is that it has been a year since two PAPD officers denied medical treatment to a woman suffering from a brain tumor and the one officer's, Adrienne Moore's, video and GPS data are missing and the PAPD has still not provided an answer to the City Council who requested one as to why it is missing.
Web Link
Web Link


Nayeli
Midtown
on Jun 30, 2020 at 8:00 am
Nayeli, Midtown
on Jun 30, 2020 at 8:00 am
34 people like this

There is no systemic racism in the PAPD. The problem is that some people resist arrest. You do not have any "right" to struggle with a police officer while he is arresting you. That is what happened with Julio Arevalo.

Obviously, the police should not use unnecessary violence against suspects. However, the individuals who are being arrested need to learn this very important concept. If you struggle with police, resist arrest or attempt to flee, police might use physical force.


Accountability
Downtown North
on Jun 30, 2020 at 8:29 am
Accountability, Downtown North
on Jun 30, 2020 at 8:29 am
10 people like this

There's a very simple response and mechanism to expose apologists (like Nayeli above) for the misconduct of public servants.

Today when public servants are held accountable in a Court of Law the costs of penalties and such are paid by the public. The abusers just move on to another City/PD...and the cycle continues.

A welcome change would be to hold those individuals (AND their apologists, including Nayeli) accountable for those costs. Down to the last penny. Including prison time where appropriate.

Nayeli lectures us about "rights" and how to conduct ourselves regardless of what a PD officer does or says. Disregarding the asymmetry and obvious bias how about we ask for something simple? Eliminate the qualified immunity, eliminate the protections given PD officers that are paid for by the public coffers, ignore the blue uniform and badge, and let's hold them as accountable as another person on the street for their conduct while wearing that uniform and badge. Apologists should put their money where their mouths (or fingers) are.


Bill Palmer
Charleston Meadows
on Jun 30, 2020 at 9:02 am
Bill Palmer, Charleston Meadows
on Jun 30, 2020 at 9:02 am
8 people like this

OK, don't resist arrest, got it. What is your excuse for the lie about "observing a drug deal" from the corrupt cop?


Nayeli
Midtown
on Jun 30, 2020 at 9:17 am
Nayeli, Midtown
on Jun 30, 2020 at 9:17 am
35 people like this

@ Accountability: Whoa. You need to be careful and give a bit of pause before you begin using false accusations. I am not an "apologist for the misconduct of public servants." I am saying that there is no evidence of "systemic racism" in the PAPD.

Unfortunately, those who utter such claims do so by pretending that anyone who disagrees with them is okay with racism or somehow "make excuses" for "misconduct." I don't know of ANYONE (including police officers) who do not want public servants (including law enforcement) to not be "held accountable" for what they do. So, this is a straw man fallacy.

While there are examples of bad conduct in law enforcement, the math does not "add up" to the wide net of stereotypes and generalizations used to demonize law enforcement. The statistics show that most police officers are very good at their jobs -- despite the difficulty that the criminal element brings.

The sad part of "police accountability" is that many of the people pointing fingers at law enforcement rarely point the finger at the bad behavior of the criminals who instigate the conflict in the first place.

I was pointing out that a person does not have a "right" to struggle with a police officer. Period. When you struggle, that officer will detain you much more aggressively. If necessary, the officer will use force.

Most of the accusations of "police brutality" occur when officers attempt to arrest or detain a person due to suspicion of criminal activity and that person resists arrests, struggles with the officer or attempts to "forcefully flee" the scene.

Please do not accuse me of "lecturing" you if you're going to "lecture" me with a sermon about "reforming" law enforcement via unreasonable demands. That list of demands would effectively cripple the ability of law enforcement to apprehend the underlying criminal element that is always ready to break the law in Palo Alto.

There is no "systemic racism" in the PAPD. There is no proof of it. In fact, I would argue that Palo Alto has amazing police officers.

We should not allow law enforcement to be stereotyped or generalized due to the perceived bad conduct of one or two officers any more than we should allow various racial-ethnic groups to be stereotyped or generalized due to the perceived bad conduct of a minority of those communities.


Online Name
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jun 30, 2020 at 10:41 am
Online Name, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jun 30, 2020 at 10:41 am
7 people like this

Have our city manager and city attorney finally confirmed there's an FBI investigation or are they going to continue with their "no comment, no problem" stance which insults our intelligence?


Accountability
Downtown North
on Jun 30, 2020 at 11:00 am
Accountability, Downtown North
on Jun 30, 2020 at 11:00 am
12 people like this

[Post removed.]
I'll agree a PAPD officer is "amazing" when (s)he blows the whistle, steps forward, and exposes the practices of fabricated PD reports, false allegations, misconduct and abuses as MUST exist within PAPD. Until then there is no such "amazing" PAPD officer--however "amazing" they might be in some ways they via their silence are complicit. [As an aside: we all should look forward to the day when such whistle-blowing doesn't qualify as "amazing."]

An argument "abuses of the office/badge do not exist in PAPD", are "not systemic", etc is not worthy of discussion. Naveli demands "proof" of such systemic violations but says nothing about PAPD preventing access to records, their withholding of such records from public review, etc. Nor does (s)he accept the evidence of systemic pattern noted in the Federal Complaint.

All of this also applies to the PD of other cities, notably Los Altos (which is also being held accountable in Federal Court).


Lack of Accurate Police Reports & Reporting
Community Center
on Jun 30, 2020 at 11:06 am
Lack of Accurate Police Reports & Reporting, Community Center
on Jun 30, 2020 at 11:06 am
8 people like this

The video footage makes it clear that DeStefanos lied on the police report about witnessing a drug transaction. During his body cam footage he did say he was detaining Arevalo because he was on probation so not sure how the FBI can say he didn't recognize him?

For the Clausen case last summer where the PAPD made it clear they will actually do more harm than help when responding to either medical or mental illness cases, they never claim police car video footage and body cam footage did not exist. Really? Is the department erasing, destroying or hiding unfavorable footage? They also never explained why the officer took 5 minutes for a "personal" stop that resulted in her taking 14 minutes to arrive at the call. Talk about lack of transparency.

Web Link


Fire Him Already
Greenmeadow
on Jun 30, 2020 at 11:09 am
Fire Him Already , Greenmeadow
on Jun 30, 2020 at 11:09 am
2 people like this

Thank you to “Accountability” for their words, they are much better with them than I. I’d like to say that there is systemic racism in every facet of American society, including every single police force in the country. Resisting arrest does not warrant a beating. And DeStefano’s behavior is not limited to the Arevalo case. The bare minimum is firing him and other cops like him and not protecting people abusing their power. There’s multiple incidents of the PAPD covering up bad incidents and it’s time for that to start immediately.


Nayeli
Midtown
on Jun 30, 2020 at 11:10 am
Nayeli, Midtown
on Jun 30, 2020 at 11:10 am
15 people like this

[Post removed.]


Family Friendly
Old Palo Alto
on Jun 30, 2020 at 12:00 pm
Family Friendly, Old Palo Alto
on Jun 30, 2020 at 12:00 pm
20 people like this

Don't break the law, and you won't be arrested. Don't resist arrest, and the police won't have to use force to subdue you.

It's just astonishing how difficult this seems to be for some people to understand.

Better yet, if you are going to break the law and resist arrest, get the h#$! out of Palo Alto. I will always support my police department in their efforts to protect our community.


Accountability
Downtown North
on Jun 30, 2020 at 12:22 pm
Accountability, Downtown North
on Jun 30, 2020 at 12:22 pm
8 people like this

"Don't break the law, and you won't be arrested. Don't resist arrest, and the police won't have to use force to subdue you....It's just astonishing how difficult this seems to be for some people to understand."

It should be more, if not equally, astonishing why officers that break the law aren't arrested.
They routinely break the law with false statements in police reports, false allegations, arrests under false pretexts, "using force to subdue" where there was no such need, and so on. And the entire department goes silent on such practices, stonewalls the production of public records, fabricates reasons why such records are (mysteriously) "unavailable", "video camera malfunctioned", etc. Complaints re misconduct are routinely "dismissed" with the abusive officers' own colleagues serving as judge and jury. If not for the recording by independent witnesses--as with George Floyd et al--these abuses don't even come to light.

"if you are going to break the law and resist arrest, get the h#$! out of Palo Alto"
I presume--and hope--you mean to also include corrupt, abusive PD officers and other public servants who break the law e.g., DeStefano and his cohorts.

"I will always support my police department "
And it is because of those like you that such abuses will continue.
As said earlier, these abuses and the corrupt involved will "get the h#$! out of Palo Alto" (and Los Altos and other cities across the country) when they (and those like you that "will always support" them) are PERSONALLY held accountable. Down to the last penny. [Portion removed.]


Weifeng Pan
Midtown
on Jun 30, 2020 at 12:25 pm
Weifeng Pan, Midtown
on Jun 30, 2020 at 12:25 pm
2 people like this

Thank you Palo Alto Online for your great journalism! People need free press for hold their government responsible.


Concerned Parent
Midtown
on Jun 30, 2020 at 3:03 pm
Concerned Parent, Midtown
on Jun 30, 2020 at 3:03 pm
2 people like this

My apologies tot he "suspect" I am speechless of the actions of this aggressive officer. All the suspect did was to try to go back to the do not shop. He never fought against the police, but he continue to release his anger or whatever issues or ego he had. Is he still working and getting paid through my the money I get with my property tax? He shall be out. No reason to treat a human being or an animal like that, when they are not hurting you. I can believe the police officer who introduces the video, how he goes around the bush trying to justify the aggressive and physical behavior of the police officer towards the suspect. If police will act like this, then we do not need them. This case is even worst than the one at the trailers park. It is only because they are people of color, not millionaires and they re sure that they do not know their rights or in some cases undocumented so they are sure that there will not be any complaints or investigations taken place. I know they will not treat a white person committing a crime like these even if the white suspect fights back. It is racism there is no other way to call it. Shame an our police department.


Anon
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 30, 2020 at 3:25 pm
Anon, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 30, 2020 at 3:25 pm
Like this comment

Posted by Family Friendly, a resident of Old Palo Alto

[Portion removed.]

>> It's just astonishing how difficult this seems to be for some people to understand.

It is not astonishing at all that *mentally ill* people have a lot of difficulty understanding this. That is why there should be trained staff to handle incidents involving mentally ill people. Really, you should not be astonished.

And, this is the punch line just for you and the people who agree with your sentiment above:

Guess what? It could *happen to you*. Yep. You or someone in your family could wake up one morning and start having real difficulty. You might be aware of it, and, try to will the mental illness away. But, that might not work. You might need help. Or your family member might need help. Since we *don't* generally have public safety folks at hand to help you-- try to get help from someone else. Especially painful: mentally ill people who are a danger to themselves and others who end up getting shot by a policeman who has no other way to protect himself than to shoot: Web Link

You think it couldn't happen to you or to someone in your family, but, it could. Please stop being "astonished" by people who don't always behave rationally.


Family Friendly
Old Palo Alto
on Jun 30, 2020 at 5:48 pm
Family Friendly, Old Palo Alto
on Jun 30, 2020 at 5:48 pm
12 people like this

[Post removed.]


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